A monthly publication of the International Law and Immigration Section of the California Lawyers Association.
Editor-in-Chief, Payal Sinha
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Releases New Forms for Immigrant Investor Program
USCIS is revising Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, to accommodate the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, which made significant changes to the filing and eligibility requirements for investors under the EB-5 program, by introducing Form I-526 and Form I-526E. Effective July 12, 2022, Forms I-526 and I-526E must be submitted in compliance with new program requirements. The filing fee is $3,675 for each form and may have biometrics requirements.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Announces New Citizenship Ambassador Initiative
On July 12, 2022, USCIS announced the launch of the first-ever citizenship ambassador initiative. Through this new initiative, USCIS will partner with community leaders who will promote citizenship through their own immigrant experience. The initiative is designed to make a personal and local connection to more than 9.1 million lawful permanent residents who may be eligible to apply for naturalization and who otherwise may not have access to or knowledge of the naturalization process.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Announces Extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuela
On July 11, 2022, DHS Secretary extended the designation of Venezuela for TPS for 18 months. This extension will be effective from September 10, 2022 through March 10, 2024. Only beneficiaries under Venezuela’s existing designation, and who were already residing in the United States as of March 8, 2021, are eligible to re-register for TPS under this extension. Venezuelans who arrived in the United States after March 8, 2021 are not eligible for TPS. Approximately 343,000 individuals are estimated to be eligible for TPS under the existing designation of Venezuela.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS) Announce Exemptions Allowing Eligible Afghans to Qualify for Protection and Immigration Benefits
On June 14, 2022, DHS and DOS exercised their congressionally provided discretionary authority to create three new exemptions, to ensure that Afghans who have supported and worked with the United States in Afghanistan, and who have undergone rigorous screening and vetting, can qualify for protection and other immigration benefits in the United States. These actions will also ensure that individuals who have lived under Taliban rule, such as former civil servants, those required to pay service fees to the Taliban to do things like pass through a checkpoint or obtain a passport, and those who fought against the Taliban are not mistakenly barred because of overly broad applications of terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds (TRIG).
The new exemptions may apply to the following:
- Afghans who supported U.S. military interests;
- Individuals employed as civil servants in Afghanistan at any time from September 27, 1996 to December 22, 2001 or after August 15, 2021; and
- Individuals who provided insignificant or certain limited material support to a designated terrorist organization.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Announces Registration Process for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Cameroon
DHS posted for public inspection a Federal Register notice on TPS for Cameroon. The registration process began on June 7, 2022. All individuals who want to request TPS under the designation of Cameroon must file an application.
To be eligible for TPS under the Cameroon designation, individuals must demonstrate their continuous residence in the United States since April 14, 2022, and continuous physical presence in the United States since June 7, 2022. Individuals arriving in the United States after April 14, 2022 are not eligible for TPS under this designation and may be subject to removal if they have no other authorization to be in the United States. USCIS estimates that about 11,700 individuals may be eligible for TPS under the designation of Cameroon.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a New Policy Alert on the effects of returning to the U.S. during 3- or 10-Year Period After Departure or Removal
On June 24, 2022, USCIS issued a policy alert on inadmissibility under § 212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), specifically, the effect of returning to the United States during the statutory 3- or 10-year period after departure or removal (if applicable). Under the policy guidance, a noncitizen who again seeks admission more than 3 or 10 years after the relevant departure or removal “is not inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(9)(B) even if the noncitizen returned to the United States, with or without authorization, during the statutory 3-year or 10-year period.” A noncitizen’s location during the statutory 3- or 10-year period and the noncitizen’s manner of return to the United States during the statutory period are “irrelevant” for purposes of determining inadmissibility under INA § 212(a)(9)(B).
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a New Policy Alert on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Eligibility for Adjustment of Status under Section 245(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act
USCIS is updating its Policy Manual to address the proper mechanism for authorizing travel by TPS beneficiaries, and how such travel may affect their eligibility for adjustment of status under section 245(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). USCIS is also updating the USCIS Policy Manual to reflect the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Sanchez v. Mayorkas, 141 S.Ct. 1809 (2021).
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a New Policy Alert on Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Classification and Adjustment of Status
USCIS is updating its Policy Manual to incorporate changes from the Special Immigrant Juvenile Petitions Final Rule (SIJ Final Rule), (including updated citations, new definitions, and clarifications), which codifies statutorily mandated changes regarding the requirements and procedures for juveniles seeking classification as an SIJ and related adjustment of status to an Legal Permanent Residency (LPR). The rule also clarifies: the definitions of key terms, such as “juvenile court” and “judicial determination;” what constitutes a qualifying juvenile court order for SIJ purposes; what constitutes a qualifying parental reunification determination; DHS’s consent function; and applicable bars to adjustment, inadmissibility grounds, and waivers for SIJ based adjustment to LPR status.